Ever had a sluggish constitution?
Ever felt tired and bloated for hours or days after a big meal?
Ever wondered why you feel so lethargic hours after a big meal?
Then read on for one sure fire way to get your intestines moving along and keeping you healthy.
During teacher training, I learnt more about the benefits of fasting and a meatless diet. Our intestines can take anywhere between 4 hours to days to digest the heavy foods we eat. The problem becomes bigger if we stuff ourselves with food, without paying conscious attention to how much we really need versus how greedy we are.
From a yoga perspective, digestion is a downward activity. Yoga with its focus on energy has many types of energies depending on function. Digestion uses a downward energy called Apana which helps with elimination. Digestion takes up a lot of energy. A good healthy diet with exercise will focus on reducing energy spent on digesting food. A healthy body focusses on increases upward moving energy called Prana which is what we need for mental work. The heavier foods we eat, the harder it is for our mind to focus as more energy is being used towards digestion.
Mondays are meatless fasting days. I really missed my once-a-week fruit fasts while on my yoga teacher training. My excuse: its hard to get picky on a yoga camp.. eat what’s lovingly prepared is the best way. Plus there was a lot of learning to do. So really appreciated having the staff cook us meals & not worry about going fruit picking.
A meatless diet aids with digestion. It is one of the first principles of yoga called ahimsa or non-violence towards everyone, including animals, others & of course ourselves.
A meat eater friend of mine decided to try the Monday fast with great results. My coworkers tried it and loved it so much some of them now do it twice a week. Now before you faint and think it’s a complete fast, I have to let you know. It’s a fruit and nuts fast.. and you break it at sunset with a simple meal. Coffee and tea are allowed during the day, but you might want to try tea instead. In Delhi where I first learnt the Monday fast from my Punjabi coworkers, potatoes & sweet potatoes are also allowed :). Now how can you say no to this type of fast?
Here then is my mango nectarine salsa recipe to keep you lightly fueled during your Monday meatless fast.
|½ cup cubed mango
½ cup white nectarines
|1 tbsp chopped mint
• Wash mango and nectarines. Don’t you love this silver plate? I managed to get wuite a collection during my yoga training. Every time I would sing at the temple, the priest would come over and present me with a plate full of mangoes :)
• Slice mango all around in one go. This is a trick I learnt watching my cousin during summer holidays in Madras. She did such an elegant job that I have never peeled mango any other way since then.
• Cube the mango.
• Cube nectarines, being careful to cut away any fleshy fruit too close to the seed.
• Sprinkle chopped fresh mint. Serve fresh or cold.
Apsara tip – you can use any fruit combination for this salsa. But just ensure that the fruits have the same texture and that you cut them the same size (tip from my childhood bestie who gave me this recipe). Other than that this is a pretty easy going salsa.. Another tip from my aunt who makes an awesome fresh mango pickle(recipe another time)- don’t bother with salad dressings when you have fresh and juicy summer fruit. I take her advice to heart. This salsa doesn’t need much disguise other than a slight sprinkling of fresh mint leaves on top.
• You will feel lighter, literally :)
• Your digestion will thank you for it
• You won’t have a gassy feel around your abdomen
• You will feel good about staying away from meat for one day in a week
• You will move old undigested food out of your gut..(that gets toxic when sitting around for a while and impacts your other organs).
• Most important you will feel a sense of brightness as your mind is now clear. Having taken away the pressure from your body system’s focus on digestion, your mind will be able to function in a calmer, clearer, focussed, more present way.
Hope you can join me next Monday for Meatless Monday fruit & nut fast. The benefits are huge, not only physically and mentally but also for the environment and treating animals gently-its just once a week and your mind, body & soul will love you for it.. Satisfaction guaranteed otherwise money back :)